Podcast pioneer Rob Loewenthal on next step for Whooshkaa after sale to Spotify


Biggest podcast hit for Whooshkaa was Hedley Thomas’s The Teacher’s Pet

Spotify has further signalled its intent to be a major podcast player in Australia with the acquisition of Whooshkaa. The audio company was launched by former Macquarie Radio chief executive Rob Loewenthal in 2016 as a podcast platform for independent creators, publishers, broadcasters and brands.

In a note to his customers today explaining the sale, Loewenthal said: “Australian podcasters, we’ve come a long way together. And from today, it all just gets bigger, better, and more exciting.

Loewenthal commented that the big attraction for Spotify, in what he called its first Australian acquisition, was Whooshkaa’s world-class technology.

“Since 2016, we’ve worked hard alongside countless Aussie podcasters to build and reimagine the future of digital audio,” said Loewenthal.


“No false modesty here – I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve built with Whooshkaa. In five years we’ve grown, learned, pivoted, and innovated. Our current team is nothing short of astounding.

“We’ve worked long days, nights, and weekends with talented individuals, businesses, schools, and media organisations to drive podcasting in Australia, with many high points along the way. Hedley Thomas’s The Teacher’s Pet for example, launched on Whooshkaa in 2018, has been downloaded more than 60 million times worldwide.


“We’ve led the way on text-to-speech, speech-to-text, connected home integration, ad technology with dynamic insertion for all, enterprise-grade private podcasting tools and more. Sport, comedy, business, crime, conversation, education, music, current affairs – Whooshkaa has welcomed and supported all.

“Proud as we are of our laurels, we’re not resting on them. Our business is thriving. And by adding the power and vision of Spotify, we can propel the industry-leading tech and service you know and love to even greater heights.

Loewenthal finished off his commentary paying tribute to his colleagues and customers on the journey so far: “Thank you to all who played a part in our last five years. The best is yet to come.”

From 2017: Another new player – Whooshkaa and ARN to create a radio podcast network

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